Hong Kong child prodigy March Tian Boedihardjo, who started his university education when he was only nine years old, has just completed his doctorate programme and is now an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), at the tender age of 18.
This isn’t the first time the teen’s made history. After completing his A-Level exams in the UK – in which he attained As in both Mathematics and Further Mathematics – Boedihardjo became Hong Kong’s youngest university student after he was accepted by the Hong Kong Baptist University in 2007. At the time, he told reporters that his dream was to become a lecturer.
When asked if his dream had come true in a recent interview, he said, “Yes, but not entirely. It’s only a three-year contract and I still don’t know what I’m going to do after it ends.”
The young genius bristled at the media’s labelling of him as a “prodigy”, explaining that he felt the term implied he hadn’t worked for his achievements. However, it does appear that academic excellence runs in the Boedihardjo family – March’s elder brother Horatio was accepted by Oxford University at the age of 14, and the boys’ father skipped two grades when he was still in primary school.
In response to people who voiced concerns that he might have sacrificed a happy childhood in pursuit of his studies, Boedihardjo said he had no regrets. “If I were given a second chance, I would have gone down the same path,” he said.